Monday, 26 December 2011

Doris Day day!!

Christmas Eve day commenced with a phone call from Jennifer's dad in Michigan. When asked how I was going to spend my day, I told him of the roadtrip/lunch date with friends he knows. Warren replied "there was nothing better than a day spent with nice people and a good meal".

Let me introduce you to the 1964 Studebaker Avanti that was the cherry on top of a super-size sundae of a day! If you google said car, you will get lots of pics of the interior which are fantastic. However, I did not post those pics as they overlooked the BEST FEATURE EVER! When you open the glove box, a small drawer slides out with a flip up mirror and room for lipstick, comb, compact, perfume perhaps!! All the necessities a female passenger could not go for a drive without. Is there one picture of this feature?? NO!!

This pic shows the colour of Kent's car and he has "matching" aqua 1960 style sunglasses for the passenger...hilarious!!! Doris Day anyone!!! It was a car well looked at on the freeway and wherever we parked, so you really wanted to look your best.

On the drive up to Napa Valley wine country, we visited a combination garden/restaurant/wine tasting/Christmas Wonderland/architectural/salvage centre. That was a good hour of "o my God, look at this!!!" Our adventure landed us in St. Helena's for lunch at an Italian trattoria that looked like it had been plucked from the Italian countryside. A most enjoyable meal with great people!

We drove back towards San Francisco as the sun was setting which is a beautiful time to drive....the colours of the sky and surrounding hills and fields are spectacular. Could have been in any number of Doris' movies I swear!! Near the top of my list for Best Christmas Eve day ever.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

yay! yay! yay!

so excited! My luddite brain figured out why I couldn't post pics to my blog!!! OMG....Angela, I know you are so proud of me right now!!! Don't ask if I figured out my camera problem right now though...maybe???

This pic is from the Toronto International Flamenco Festival in October 2011 with teachers from Spain and flamenco friends from across Canada. It was awesome!!

had a "me party" day!

and night! Got really antsy yesterday and for the first time in a week, I was unable to sit around the house. Got myself out of pj/sweatpants mode and set out for some shopping of the garage sale/thrift store variety and a visit to my favourite coffee/sandwich/sweet shop, Emporio Rulli in Larkspur. Heavenly Italian goodies. My addiction are "palm hearts" which are crunchy, buttery layers of goodness glazed with caramel.

Later that day I went to The Seafood Peddler for Happy Hour (prawns, clam chowder, oysters, wine). Nothing like Happy Hour in the USA plus the restaurant was swarmed by people coming to watch the San Rafael Lighted Boat Parade.

Good times! A guy lost his balance and fell off the dock for starters! The best boat was decked out like a pirate ship with skull and cross bones and parrot lights. Somewhere there was a Santa I think?? They had an air gun at the bow and a flame thrower off the port to simulate cannon fire. Now, the Marine Police do join the parade and they put a cheesy string of lights on their boat. Unfortunately, they were right by the pirate ship during a particular noisy display in the most crowded viewing section. So, what do they do but go on a loud speaker and tell the pirate ship to "cease firing the air gun or you will receive a citation". Do you think there was boo-ing from the crowd!

Made my way home to walk the dog and still couldn't sit still so I went to the Fairfax movie theatre to see "The Muppets". There was myself and 4 other adults who deliberately picked the 9:20 pm movie so there were no children!! My favourite?? When the hens sing Forget You, Walter whistling and Rainbow Connection. If you haven't seen the movie yet, the "me party" number is OK too!

Friday, 16 December 2011

one week already...

arrived last Friday night and poof, it's gone. Jennifer, Ken and I had a whirlwind weekend of Secret Santa exchanges and a cocktail party in the city before they left for the Yucatan.

Charley and Birdie and I are actually enjoying each others company all in one room, at the same time. Certainly not an event that occurred last year!! Birdey (cat) no longer spends her life on top of a very tall wardrobe to avoid Charley. Right now they are sleeping at opposite ends of the same's a Christmas miracle. Or, it's that Charley got fixed and is much calmer? No, I'm going with miracle, it's that time of year.

Today I walked in to Fairfax to partake in a Bunny Hop...a delish carrot, apple, lemon, ginger concoction. Fairfax = Kensington Market (TO), totally feels like I stepped back in to the 70's!! They have a fantastic old movie theatre on the main street which I will be visiting over the next week...a little Kermie, Clooney and Downey are easily on my Christmas wish list.

Interestingly, I decided to take another route this year in to town which started with stairs that lead from my street down the hill. What's that you say? Sidewalk at the bottom??? No, no, no... these steps lead you down right on to the main road, the very busy road, the only road that gets you anywhere in the area kind of busy road. Gobsmacked. Oh, there's the sidewalk!!! About 20 steps away, watch out for trucks and cyclists and step out. Doesn't this have sue-your-ass USA written all over it? Hilarious!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

whoa 2011, slow down!

blink, blur, gone!! Angela, you must be spinning!! Not too many sleeps till your year in Oz comes to an end.

I can't believe I haven't had time to post since Nov 24! But I've been having fun!!!

A trip back to London for some pre-Christmas frenzy....I have discovered that coming home for 4 days is not long enough. Even Dean commented on how early I was getting up to start the meet for coffee, lunch, cocktails, errands, dinner, go to the party, brunch, get to the theatre, appointments kind of days.

Believe me when I say I slept in on Tuesday, especially after I got up and saw snow on the ground. So, I unpacked, did laundry, and started to pack again.

I fit in the last rehearsal I can attend for a month....that doesn't make me nervous. Right when the details of the show are being finalized. We are going to set up a Skype rehearsal while I am away. Hilarious!!

Anyways, 2 more sleeps till I am in sunny?????? California..please please please let me feel the sun a few more days than I did last Christmas (5 days out of 30 to be exact!!)

Here I come Charley, get ready for some serious dog walking!!!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

non flamenco activities in my life...

It's been gallery week! Of course, I've had all of October and November to get these visits in, but no, left it all till the last possible moment! I am fitting 3 gallery visits in in a week as the exhibitions I want to see are over before I get back in January!!!

Wednesday I went to Bata Shoe Museum to see a Roaring '20's exhibit. Can we just say major drooling! Did you know the ankle strap and t-strap became necessary so women wouldn't lose their shoes while dancing the Charleston? The Louis Vuitton travel trunk that housed 30 pairs of shoes in individual compartments was fantastic. How posh!

As well, there was an exhibit entitled Art in Shoes-Shoes in Art. Dating back to the 1500's, it combined lithography and wood-block prints (which I LOVE) with historical artifacts from their permanent collection. Didn't know St. Crispin and St. Crispinian (very religious cobblers) were the patron saints of shoemakers. And it concluded with print items i.e. caricatures/advertising posters from the Victorian era through to current day photography and sculpture...foot fetish anyone?

Yesterday I visited the Gardiner Museum specializing in ceramics. The Tsar's Cabinet, from a private collection of decorative arts, included work of Faberge, gilded dinner services, serving pieces, imperial porcelain eggs and historic court photos. The extravagance of life in palaces and yachts during the Romanov era is mind boggling. Also from a private collection, were pieces owned by the Grand Duchess Olga, the younger sister of Tsar Nicolas II, who spent her final years living in Toronto.

A second exhibit was the Twelve Trees of Christmas, a yearly event of trees decorated for public viewing and then donated to homes and shelters for the holiday season. All I can say is, "oh-high-end-decorators-of-Toronto-which-I-thought-would-mean-fabulous-trees", so sad, so sad! Took a picture of the worst one EVER and someday, when I figure out why my phone and computer tell me they can't connect, I will show you and you will laugh!!

One more to visit, coming up...the ROM!

Friday, 18 November 2011

I like to watch....

Earlier in the week, I had the pleasure of staying in Vineland, ON with my friends John and Connie. They like to cook and, well, I like to watch. This does go along with the fact that I have always loved reading cookbooks and I can spend a fair amount of time in the company of the Food Network. But this was somehow different.

It was the first time that I truly understood the beauty of a centre island for food prep. Sure, lots of people have them. Sure, they are fabulous for parties so friends can gather around. But, picture being seated comfortably, a fabulous glass of red wine in hand, lovely music playing...and you are quietly watching two people who love to cook.

I was fascinated by the care taken by John slicing the cremini mushrooms just so for the mushroom gravy. I confess, I am a bit of a hacker, the faster the better. Connie prepared the pork tenderloin for pounding into cutlets utilizing dexterity with saran wrap few of us could achieve. The oven roasted potatoes were to die for and let us not forget the home made apple pie! I am told the secret to the pastry is adding vodka...if that excites you, let me know, I will ask specifics.

Now if only I could get to a point where I really like to cook. I get it, I understand. Like I said, I love to watch. Maybe I need the "I love to cook fabulously" fairy to wave her magic wand? I'll let you know if it happens.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

what a week!

Crazy weather, freezing, raining, warm, windy!!! Quit with the changing air pressure!!!

After my lazy day on Monday, everything kicked back into high gear! Rehearsal and classes as usual Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Plus, I have yet again added another class to my schedule....palmas class has started up again. Yes, I am paying someone to teach me how to clap!!!

Lisa, a flamenca from Winnipeg, came for a workshop and stayed with us for a few days. We had a nice dinner out with some of the other dancers. Christine, a flamenca from St. Johns, Newfoundland surprised us by getting a cheap last minute flight on Porter. Good visit!! Much fun!!!

Did you notice the class schedule?? I see a part-time job in my future!! When I get back from California on January 5, I will be job hunting for sure.

Tomorrow I am going to Vineland for a little R&R with the Vickrucks for a few days...can't wait!! Time for me to pick up a book and try to read a few chapters!!! Sweet dreams all!!!

Monday, 7 November 2011


I know I came here to be busy but I still like a day with few obligations and definetly no classes!!! Mondays have become that day. I don't want to sleep the day away either. Up by 10, some yoga, some brekkie, my stretchy-keep-the-body-going exercises, groceries if I HAVE too, catch up on Y & R at 4:30 with a cup of tea.

Today I planned how I was going to fit in all the exhibits at the galleries I want to see. Oh, and I paid a bill, actually walked to the mailbox to get it in the mail. There are a few bills left in the world apparently that you still need a cheque bizarre.

In TO there is a free museum admission program called MAP, Museum + Arts Pass, coordinated by library branches for Bata Shoe Museum, AGO, ROM, Gardiner and others. I never go and stand in line, which you need to do to score passes for AGO and ROM, I just get what is available. In September, I went to the Gardiner and this month I am going to Bata Shoe. There is an exhibit of shoes from the Roaring 20's...drooling just thinking about it. It's on till June 2012 if you want to put it on your calendar.

This is very interesting...ROM has lowered their admission prices from $24 to $15. I want to go see the David Hockney exhibit entitled Fresh Flowers, "paintings" he has done on Ipads etc. plus several other exhibits that really interest me. The Hockney is only on till Jan 1.

Then there is the Grace Kelly exhibit at TIFF Bell Lightbox which runs till January 22, a Chagall exhibit at the AGO until January 15, the Tsar's Cabinet at the Gardiner until January 8...phew!!

Sunday, 6 November 2011


I started a second dance class this week...after a year of no dancing.....ouch.....feet....I forgot how much your feet can hurt! Hello ice packs! For the month of November (at least) a new teacher, recently arrived from Cuba, is offering classes.

Cuba? Flamenco?? Si. Danza Cuba is a phenomenal company trained by the brilliant Lizt Alfonso. A documentary, which Veronica Tennant was actively involved in developing, was presented at Luminato a few years ago entitled Vida (life). I wonder if it runs on Bravo sometimes? (fyi clip above is not from Vida). Ima and her partner, who played cajon, were so enthusiastic when we got the footwork right we were cheering! Have not laughed that much in a dance class ever!

It was not only my second class of the week but my first class of 1 hour and 30 minutes...another reason for the ouch factor! The two palos (styles) taught were tangos and bulerias. There was no way I was going to dance for 3 hours so I opted for bulerias. Bulerias is my nemesis....this is a style you would break into on your own at a party and improvise. Me, not so good at it! I also have a mental block against it as I find the cante (singing) difficult. So, I am taking it on head first....focusing on the cante and the baile this year to see if I can get somewhere with it. We'll see!

Friday, 4 November 2011

I have a roommate!!

Christine finally arrived home from Europe last night. The original return date was October 15 but a decision was made to stay two weeks longer as classes were going so well. And, arriving with her is a suitcase full of frilly flamenco dresses and a glorious shawl with trim and fringe that must be a foot wide....gorgeous!!! As well, Christine scored Farruca pants!!! Insert explanation here: visualize the classic male flamenco dancer with the high waisted black pants and skinny leg. Historically only men danced Farruca but now women do as well. However, it simply does not suit being performed in female attire. There was a serious search in Seville for the pants and she finally found them in her size the last day!!! It was meant to be.....

The second return date was supposed to be October 31 but a rotating Air France strike cancelled her flight from Seville to Paris. After a horrible weekend of trying to figure out how to get home, it worked out it was best if she stayed in Seville in the apartment she was renting as it was available and, finally, it was a for sure that she could leave on November 3. Now she just had to get to Paris. Here's the kicker, any cost that was incurred with arranging travel to Paris and extra accommodation is not covered by travel insurance as it was an announced strike!!! Wtf!!! Even if you read the fine print I doubt you would be able to figure out what they really do cover. She has been told to submit all expenses and they will make a decision in three weeks. Seriously!!??

So the dining room table currently looks like a clown's tickle trunk exploded. Cream and crimson and silver and rose and azure and lemon and russet and gray and purple and white and pink and orange and many of you got through that without singing!?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

no fear...

Yesterday I finished a singing (cante) workshop with Maria Mezcle from Spain. Previous workshops have been taught by men so it was fantastic to have a cantaora for a change. She stressed vocal warmups and technique for breathing. I had no idea I had so many cavities in my head that could vibrate!! We spent time on a particularly confusing warmup that involved blocking the back of your throat with your tongue...we looked and felt ridiculous!!! Back to that later. She taught us true Andulucia style one has ever broken it down for us so well and expected us to get it!!

Typically in workshops we learn more familiar styles so you start with some knowledge. No, no, no, not Maria!! We learned a Mirabras which is specific to the region of San Lucar where she is from. Challenging! We sounded pretty good as a group though!! There were 10 students in the class and it was the first time she had taught such a big group even in Spain. She was thrilled there was love of flamenco cante in Toronto.

Back to the tongue in the back of the throat produce a nasal tone for lack of a better description and then slowly unblock the throat by dropping the tongue...can't describe it any better...and then you let a note rock the room. If you are doing it right, you can hear a ringing of sorts in the note you are holding. Anyways, bad description but she made us do it alone every day. Curses!! Look, feel and now sound like you have no idea what you are doing!!!

On the third day of the workshop it was my turn. Once done my first attempt, I got the slow tipping of the head from shoulder to shoulder with a pursing of the lips and a shoulder shrug. That means "kindasorta". She tells me to do it again. "But this time, she said, no fear....sing with no fear". So I started the list of breath, check, posture, check, tongue, check and I let a note go. This time I "kindasorta" did it better. That means all the movements above with a bit of a smile!!

That's my new mantra now.....sing with no fear!!!

Monday, 31 October 2011

garbage stage!

Yesterday was the last day of Car Free Sundays at Kensington Market. We didn't get there in the thick of the activity but when we did arrive later in the evening, there were still bands performing at the Garbage Stage and tons of people were out in Halloween attire. It was a totally groovy acid flashback for me!!!

Garbage Stage??? Yes!! Picture a back alley that you wouldn't dare to walk down for starters. First you enter through a frayed curtain, donations kindly accepted for the musicians btw!! You still can't quite see where it is you are going but you can see shiny lights ahead and hear the music. Your eyes adjust and you come in to a courtyard/garage area. The garage is the bar/lounge/dance floor that is also painted so you can play Twister and at the end of the alley is the Garbage Stage.

In the back corner of the alley/stage is a massive metal sculpture that holds up the one corner of a tarp roof. There are 3 sides of you-name-it-they-nailed-it-up to surround the stage and hold up the rest of the "roof"! Attached to these walls are every found object you can imagine. It is reuse and recycle at its best!!! Hilarious!!!

And the party was happening!! Music, light show, costumes, dancing, hula hoops twirling, amazing grafiti and spectacular vibe with a heady aroma of je ne sais quoi. I've been trying to find some pics of the night but none so far. I suggest a road trip when the event begins again in the spring! During the day, musicians perform throughout the market area and all the shops and restaurants are open. People watching is top drawer.

Car Free London, think what you can grow up to be!!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

...silence is golden....

as per Facebook post, yes, I hooted, I hollered and shouted over loud music and then tried to rehearse the next Monday, I totally lost my voice and it was sore too, not just hoarse. I have gargled, sipped and sucked on some pretty disgusting concoctions!! Seriously freaked out as show is(was) Nov 26.

Last few days in a nutshell, NO talking for 2 days, nearly damn impossible! Went to rehearsal Tuesday night but knew I was not going to sing. As a group it was decided that we will not be comfortably ready for Nov 26 and we had lost our original venue due to closure. Everyone's rent is going up and many small (i.e. cheaper performance spaces) are moving or closing. So, I can rest my voice a bit longer. Some of the flamencas have a vocal coach I plan to check out. I have a cante class tonight so I am going to sing a bit and see how it goes. Wish me luck!

I am now going to admit defeat...I told myself I would not drive my car downtown for Tuesday rehearsals(8:30-10pm)until the snow fell. I can park near the studio for $5 after 6pm, it costs me $3 each way for subway, we went over time last night so I missed my connecting bus and didn't get home till after midnite in the RAIN...nope, I'm done with that!

sittin' in the morning sun...

Well, not morning's 1:30 pm and I just got up. Uh huh, yes I did, I did some serious sleeping in! Had to get outside asap as it is 16 glorious degrees. Last night was Fedora Upside Down...picture this...Ukrainian Cultural Centre (old community hall from a time when they knew how to build a room with a stage, good acoustics and huge dance floor). Fifteen klezmer/gypsy/jazz/flamenco bands sharing each others musicians, an artists collective turning the place in to a mountain meadow...seriously, a grove of trees, and mountains big and small (imagine tarp teepees), extraordinary food for $5 a heaping plate, alcohol, tubas and accordions galore.

Lots of parents of the musicians and neighbours of the community centre came out and it was so fun watching people really dance and sing along to all the songs. You know, if guys would just figure out that knowing how to foxtrot, jive and maybe even polka is very attractive...I'm just sayin' can't take your eyes off an older gentlemen gliding across the floor with his partner in a delicate embrace. Sigh:)))

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Rubén Olmo. Tranquilo Alboroto

flamenco frenzy begins today!!

Today was the first day of classes for the Toronto International Flamenco Festival.  Check out the website to see all the events  I am taking only the cante (singing) course....too out of shape to handle the dancing at the level that is taught when a teacher comes from Spain (sadly).  Thursday night  the workshop ends with a performance by Ruben Olmos & Company.  I will continue with 3 classes plus a rehearsal throughout the week as well.

On Saturday, local flamencos will be performing as part of a crazy gypsy night at the Ukrainian Club (9 bands, 50 musicians, 2 stages).  Check out for some toe-tapping-can't-sit-still music!

Compania Jose Porcel perform at Roy Thomson Hall Monday, October 17.   Maria Mezcle arrives for cante and guitar workshops Oct 30-Nov 1 followed by a performance (her company, not the students!) on Nov 5.   Diego El  Cigalo presents Cigalo & Tango Nov 4 at Koerner Hall (Royal Conservatory--gorgeous venue btw)  And then, another workshop starts Nov 10....Madre de Dios.....I need to win the lottery!!!

Full-on flamenco immersion!!! Ollleeeeee!!!

Friday, 14 October 2011

places and people I won't forget...

Sequential blog entries, bah, who needs 'em....jumping back to 2 weeks ago now.

When you are in downtown TO, you might notice flyers posted everywhere about movies you can go see at a place called Cineforum.  I'd seen them for years and was intrigued by movie titles and lectures/ discussions but I never got myself there.  A few weeks ago I was invited by a friend to join her for a film.  When I arrived at the address she gave me, I was at Cineforum and was meeting Reg Hartt.

Reg lives in a narrow, old Victorian on Bathurst near College and runs a small theatre out of his house.  The living room and dining room have been "converted" into the theatre space and also acts as his work area.  There is a bank of electronics that would make any film/music techie drool.  As a matter of fact, while we were arriving, he filmed us on his front porch chatting and then showed us ourselves in 3D.  The camera looked like a typical tiny digital and the 3D glasses were battery powered in super geeky frames (sans bandaid on the nose piece).  If I were a techie I would have remembered ALL the stuff he said about them.  They weren't the cardboard ones you get at the theatres for sure!!  So, basically, there are about 20 rolling office chairs in a very tiny space and you take a seat and enjoy.  We brought snacks etc and had a great time chatting before and after the film.

Reg is one committed film buff and one smart cookie too. You know, the ones that make you wish you were smarter or at least more articulate and you weren't standing there feeling like English is suddenly not your first language.  It doesn't feel like a  put-down, you just know this man has a brain and an intense passion about what he does and thinks and feels.

I will gladly go back to check out Cineforum again sometime and if you want to see what kinds of movies I  am talking about check out his schedule at  It was cool.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

the autumn leaves....

I am a fan of autumn...don't get me wrong, spring is big on my list too as I loathe winter. But, fall has a gorgeousness about it that is all about nature in it's natural state.  It's not about the shrubs and bulbs and perennials planted in a yard.

I was driving back to Toronto on the 401 and was thrilled repeatedly by groves of trees out in fields that were breathtakingly beautiful.  I know, gorgeousness on the 401, who knew!  I missed taking the Greyhound actually (for a minute anyways) as I could have taken in the views for longer.  They were picture perfect.  The reds of fall this year are being held up by the lowly sumac.  Maples have not gone to the ruby tones in great numbers this fall but have stalled at glorious shades of orange and gold.  The sun was shining and I was speeding and all was good on the road.

Basically, what I am saying is, get out and check out those fall colours.  I can't imagine how beautiful it would be to be on a country road if the 401 was so awesome.  (Speeding not recommended)

Tell me, how many of you started humming a song when you read the title??  Let's play Don't Forget the Lyrics!!  the autumn leaves _______________, the autumn leaves of __________.  Bonus points for singer, composer, was it from a movie??  And you are seriously dating yourself!!!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

lost a week!

will get back to last week later but right now all I can say is, I am soaked!!!

I choose to not drive my car as often as possible and that has been a HUGE change for me.  I am totally OK with riding the rocket but I cannot get my head around preparing for the weather.  I have never worried about rain as I just had to run from my car to a building but now....not so much. Tonight was my wet Waterloo.

What is lacking in my weather preparation arsenal?  Well, I loathe using an umbrella.  I don't want to carry one and then not use it and the one I do have is big with an over-the-shoulder strap for carrying which I love, but I have almost impaled a few fellow transit travellers. I find the little tiny fold up ones either so small you might as well not have one or you can't get them to close when you are done with them and, finally, I just like to have my hands free.  I usually have a million other things I am carrying so an umbrella is just a royal pain.

What I prefer is a raincoat made out of real raincoat fabric WITH a hood.  Do you know how unusual it is to find a stylish rain coat with a hood???  Unusual.  Why? Doesn't the idea of a hood on a coat that is meant to keep you dry in the rain seem logical?

I found one I loved, loved, loved BUT it was $200....sorry, I'd rather buy an iPod.  So, that leaves buying an umbrella. After tonight I am breaking down.  Tomorrow I shop.

Any advice you car-less people?  I salute you for having endured too many downpours to mention!!  I admire you for keeping your feet on the ground and money in your pocket by not buying a car.  Did you know that some people/families spend more dollars on the cost of a car(s) i.e own/lease, insurance etc. than on rent or mortgage??   Now that's a blogworthy rant!  Some other time, need a cup of tea and a towel to dry my hair stat!!!

Friday, 30 September 2011

see this film at the theatre!

Even if you are not a danceophile, do not miss Pina on the big screen in 3D.  No worries, porte a bras nor grande battements have you ducking but the texture added to the performances is extraordinary.  As one of the audience members declared at the end of the film, "it's what 3D was meant for".  Exquisite choreography and cinematography combines with joy and sadness.  The loss of Pina Bausch to the dance world and these company dancers is palpable.  I have not been this awe struck by movement in a long time.

Pina was part of TIFF so I do not know the Canadian release date but watch for it.  It may be a limited run in London ON!!  Not sure if the Hyland can handle 3D??? It is available in 2D which I would like to see  for comparison...regardless of how you get to see it, don't miss the opportunity.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

and it's just my imagina-a-tion!

as a sometimes claustrophobic person, you would think that hurtling at a high a tin a tube....underground....with no light at the end of the tunnel, would not be high on my list of "this is so cool". But it is!  My favourite part is when the train moves slowly, especially in the oldest area near Union Station, and you can survey the tunnel itself.  Where does that lead? What can't I see?  And then....I whisper...."Vincent"....

Sunday, 25 September 2011

to all fashion frugalistas

This weekend was The Clothing Show, something I've seen flyers posted about for years but have never been able to attend.  So, as a new Torontonian, I was not going to pass up the opportunity to check it out.  The word is, save up your pennies, save the date and don't let this one get by you next September!

One of a Kind? I enjoy drooling at the artistry, creativity, quality and diversity of the vendors, no question.  But the gasping at the price tags exhausts me. The conversation in my head about "what I wouldn't do if I won the lottery" is on a constant loop when I go.

But, at The Clothing Show, my passion for funky frugalista finds was fulfilled.  It is held at the Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday usually the third weekend in September.  (The QE is approximately the size of the Canada Building at Western Fair so very manageable).  Fashion shows, where the models are surly, are held 3 times each day.  You can grab a light lunch...don't even think about packing a cannot carry enough food with you to keep your strength up for this event!   It's not crazy like the old Hadassah Bazaar days fortunately but there is just so much to look at and go through.  And, all the vendors were lovely and up for a good chat.

Here's what makes it fab.u.lous.  First, a large section of funky local designers for clothing (mostly for women), jewellery and accessories with some doggie boutiques and a few food specialties thrown in to the mix.  Prices were very reasonable and they all had a sales rack well worth snooping through.  Next, there was a good size section of vintage.  Many of the vendors were from outside of TO and prices varied but were, for the most part, affordable.  The most enjoyable part was the section for Sample Sales.  A few vendors were big and messy but the small booths were fantastic....really clearing out some good quality pieces.  $5, $10, $20 racks made me swoon.

Admission at door is $10 or $8 on-line AND before you leave,  get a readmission ticket so you can come back all three days on one ticket!  Sweet!

Check it out at and then put it on your calendar for next fall!

Friday, 23 September 2011

one of my favourite things....

a good night's sleep!! O my fellow, "Why am I awake still?" comrades...and you know the air is blue when I am thinking this!!!  The joy of a whole night slept through is beyond words.  I have been sleeping like a log...jealous much:)))))  No, not 100% but pretty darn close.  Must be the amount of walking you do when you stop using your car ALL the time.

But, numero uno importante, a good mattress!!  Now, back in the day, I could sleep anywhere (I hear the hooting on that statement!)  I was referring to the fact that I could sleep on a bus, a train, at an airport or a deckchair on a boat.  Hell, I slept in a field by the side of the road on Crete after a bad night of hitchhiking!!!  Yeah, it was 2-star digs, I had a sleeping bag!  Can I get an amen for a fabulous mattress!!

By Thursday, my brain, my feet, my body are short circuiting so Friday has become my day and night of doing as little as possible.  I have a rehearsal from 2-4 with a guitarist and dancer.  I am singing.  I love Fridays for this reason.  And I  love it MORE as the rehearsal is at my house.  Many of you will remember me gushing about the fact that Christine has a rehearsal space downstairs....seriously, I did not gush enough!!

So I guess this should really be titled two of my favourite things!!!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

luddite with a laptop....

oh, and good lord, now she's got a blog...

Yeah, the dates are a little skewed right now as I had been writing and saving as I fooled around, but what the hell,  here it is!  It's truly the only way for me to keep in touch with everyone.  Hopefully it can only get better as I get into the swing of it!!!

and this is how my blog got it's name!

daaay 2!

Christine and I were officially roommates for 24 hours!  I arrived at 4 pm yesterday and she left today at 4 pm.  Now, it's just me and the kitties, Tika and Chino.  I have big plans to get the car unloaded and right in to sorting....not with my attention span!!

Such a beautiful day that I had to go for a walk in my new 'hood.  I found the mailbox, grocery store, library (YAHOO) and a lovely park.  The neighbourhood has lots of mature trees, well maintained homes and it is very quiet considering we are so close to 427.  Everyone says hello and all ages seem represented.  I would say the neighbourhood reminds me of the area near Westminster Secondary and over towards Springbank Drive. However, many of these homes have been bought recently and quadrupled in size so it's quite an odd collection of architecture.  When I can find the cord I need for my camera, I will post some will surface someday!!!

and so it begins!!

Sept a life that has involved much travel and adventure, as of today, I have officially changed my address from London, Ontario for the very first time!!!  My car is like a Jenga puzzle and now I have to take it apart piece by piece....what went in that way must come out that way!!!

I feel like I've just found I'm out I'm going to Disneyland...."I'm so excited!!!"

Bringing in just what I need for tonight...don't want to get in Christine's way as she is packing to leave for Europe for 6  weeks...much weighing of luggage and transferring of stuff.....there will be no layering on of clothes at the case we've forgotten, visualize together shall we, Angela heading to OZ, being ridiculously expensively overweight on her luggage BUT also has packed for a YEAR!!  Leaving said line to put as many layers of clothes on to get them out of her luggage, Angela returns unable to put her arms down by her sides and already sweating profusely...still lmao 9 months later!